Senate Republicans block committee hearings again

Republicans have blocked Senate committee hearings for a second consecutive day to protest moving healthcare fixes under special budget rules.
 
Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman Carl LevinCarl LevinPresident Trump, listen to candidate Trump and keep Volcker Rule Republicans can learn from John McCain’s heroism Trump and GOP wise to keep tax reform and infrastructure separate MORE (D-Mich.) asked for consent to hold a hearing Wednesday afternoon but Sen. Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrTrump: Why isn't Senate looking into 'Fake News Networks'? Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open Special counsel looking into dossier as part of Russia probe: report MORE (R-N.C.) objected. Burr said he was acting on behalf of Republican colleagues.
 

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Republicans have allowed some hearings to proceed, such as a Homeland Security Committee hearing on the nomination of Robert Harding to head the Transportation Security Administration, but have stopped others.
 
Democrats blasted their GOP colleagues for obstruction, adding to the partisan tension that has built up in the upper chamber, which is traditionally known for collegiality.
 
“What a ridiculous notion that we’ve got to come beg the minority party so we can have a hearing on the police contracting in Afghanistan,” said Sen. Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillKoch-backed group targets red-state Dems on tax reform Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open Las Vegas highlights Islamist terrorism is not America's greatest domestic threat MORE (D-Mo.), chairwoman of the Homeland Security Committee Contracting Oversight Subcommittee.
 

The Republican objection derailed a Judiciary Committee hearing on the nomination of Goodwin Liu to be a judge on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
 
“Senate Republicans’ tactics of obstruction and delay know no limit,” said Judiciary Committee Chairman Pat Leahy (D-Vt.).
 
“Senate Republicans continue their ill-advised protest of meaningful health reform legislation by exploiting parliamentary tactics and Senate rules, to the detriment of the American people and, in today’s instance, at the expense of American justice,” Leahy said.